Few fragrances have garnered a following as long-standing as lavender. Topical uses for the earthy, herbaceous flower date as far back as the ancient Roman era, when folks dropped lavender into their baths; and today, you’d be hard-pressed to find a bath and body company that doesn’t sneak a lavender-scented-something into their product line. So competition for the best lavender body washes is fierce — and, like all things scent-related, finding your favorite is a deeply personal experience. But the products on this list all contain authentic lavender, either in its essential oil or extract form, so they smell like the plant itself, not a lab-grown imitation. Beyond that, these body washes all leave your skin feeling soft and hydrated, not stripped and dry, as most (but not all) are formulated without the use of harsh surfactants.
Do as the Romans do and suffuse your bath with the sedating scent of lavender. Very much unlike the ancient Romans, however, you can get some of the best lavender body washes on Amazon.
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1. Best Organic Lavender Body Wash
If shopping organic is a priority for you, add this Avalon Organics Nourishing Lavender Bath & Shower Gel to your cart. It's been certified to meet the standards of NSF/ANSI 305 — one of the most trusted certifications when it comes to organic product labelling in the beauty industry. The gel formula is packed with plant extracts, like aloe and quinoa extract, that work to soften, replenish, and strengthen skin as it gently cleanse. Elsewhere in the formula, both lavender essential oil and lavender extract offer up skin-soothing benefits and a relaxing, natural fragrance. It’s also free of common irritants like parabens, sulfates, and synthetic fragrance, so it’s a great choice if your skin gets easily irritated.
2. Best Drugstore Lavender Body Wash
Aveeno is a failsafe for drugstore shoppers, and their lavender and ylang ylang body wash is no exception. It’s made with lavender flower extract, chamomile, and ylang ylang, which all work together to soothe your skin and impart a subtle, fresh scent that gently lingers. This contains fragrance and sulfates (the latter helps this work up into a creamy lather), but lots of Amazon reviewers with sensitive skin swear by it. My dry, sensitive skin is also a fan!
3. Best Multipurpose Body Wash
African black soap has long been used as a do-it-all product — you can use it as a body wash, facial cleanser, hand wash, shaving cream, and makeup remover, among other things — and with over 3,500 five-star Amazon ratings, this one from Alaffia is among the most popular. (It’s also the only one I’ve found that comes in this divine, lavender and ylang ylang scent.) The formula is refreshingly short and simple, and made with fair-trade, ethically harvested ingredients. Another great thing: African black soap can be used as a gentle, effective way to clear up unwanted acne. It can be a touch drying, however, so be sure to moisturize afterward. I'd pair it with this accompanying lavender body lotion.
4. Best For Aromatherapy
All these lavender body washes can be used as much for aromatherapeutic purposes as utilitarian purposes, but this one from Pacifica is formulated specifically for calming your body and mind. It’s powered by the brand’s special aromatherapy blend, which includes the extracts of rose, chamomile, and lavender (of course). The aroma is pleasant and relatively subtle — not overpowering — and makes a lovely addition to your nighttime bath or shower routine. It’ll leave your skin feeling silky and moisturized, too, thanks to the hydrating aloe and panthenol in the formula. This also wins the award for the prettiest bottle.
5. Best Splurge
Lavender is native to Provence, so it’s only natural that this lavender shower gel from L’Occitane is one of the proudly Provençal brand’s signature offerings. The lavender essential oil in here is sourced from farmers’ cooperatives in Haute Provence, so the quality and authenticity of the ingredients is second-to-none. The scent also smells like a sprig of real lavender, rather than a manufactured perfume. Pick up the brand’s other lavender products, like their bubble bath and body lotion, to round out your Francophile bath regimen.